Florida State University Professor Holly Hanessian is using art to teach people about water conservation and sustainability.
Hanessian’s “Water for All: An Art Exchange” is an interactive project hosted at pop-up events around the state. The project informs visitors how single-use plastics, such as water bottles, that contribute to global warming and increased hurricanes. Her project booth will be at several events planned around Florida for Earth Day this Saturday, including the Pompano Beach Green Market, the Earth Day Celebration at the Nature Conservancy in Naples and Tallahassee’s Word of South Festival.
During the Earth Day event, our team of conservationist inform the participants about water sustainability and encourage them to make a clay cloud in exchange for a Sawyer portable water filter. These filters can clean up to 100,000 gallons. These clay clouds will become part of a large art piece this fall at the Pompano Beach Cultural Center.
“As an artist, I am determined to work for climate justice through my individual and communal actions,” Hanessian said. “I believe that with empathy and compassion, combined with social responsibility, that we can create change, by taking responsibility for our environment through our actions.”
FSU art alumni Sarah Moschel-Miller and Melissa Gonzales Lopez are both team leaders for this project.
“The reaction from the different communities around Florida has been fantastic and incredibly varied,” Moschel-Miller said. “The art experience drew many visitors in, and after learning about the project, they expressed that they didn’t consider how much plastic gets wanted during hurricane season, or how they wished they had the filters for previous hurricane seasons.”
“Water for All” is supported by the State of Florida and is part of a larger water sustainability and disaster resilience project by Hanessian and FSU’s Resilient Infrastructure & Disaster Response Center, or RIDER.
Hanessian also created a “Hurricane Go-Pack,” as an educational tool for environmental organizations and museums to inform citizens about water sustainability, climate change and how to prepare for a hurricane. The pack includes tools such as an evacuation map printed on a bandana, a Sawyer water filter and a rechargeable solar lamp, as well as an e-publication and PDF designed to help Florida residents prepare sustainably for hurricanes.
For more information, visit hollyhanessian.com.
You can visit the “Water for All” booth at the Word of South Festival Saturday, April 22 in Cascades Park.
Photo credit: Becki Rutta